Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense

4.4 10
Director: Jonathan Demme

Cast: Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir, Steve Scales

     
 

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Stop Making Sense was the first feature-length documentary effort of filmmaker Jonathan Demme. The director's subject is The Talking Heads, a new-wave/pop-rock group comprised of David Byrne, Chris Franz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. The film was made during a three-day concert gig at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. What emerges on screen says as muchSee more details below

Overview

Stop Making Sense was the first feature-length documentary effort of filmmaker Jonathan Demme. The director's subject is The Talking Heads, a new-wave/pop-rock group comprised of David Byrne, Chris Franz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. The film was made during a three-day concert gig at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. What emerges on screen says as much about director Demme's taste and sensitivity as it does about the group and its visionary leader Byrne. Though some of the material in Stop Making Sense overlaps with the Talking Heads' earlier concert film The Name of This Band is Talking Heads, one never gets the feeling of by-the-numbers repetition; the group's energy is such that it virtually explodes from the screen.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Stop Making Sense is a prime example of the best way to make a perfect concert movie. First, choose as a subject a band that is as attentive to visual matters as it is to its music -- and preferably one that comes with sterling critical credentials as well. Second, choose as director someone with an unerring sense of composition and an ability to zero in on the key moments in a song, those that will make the most lasting impression or will deliver a message -- subtly or obviously -- to the audience. Third, plan the shoot to as close to within an inch of its life as possible (difficult to do given the vagaries of live performance). Fourth, be in the right place at the right time. Although an individual's reaction to Sense will in large part be colored by his feelings about the Talking Heads, even those who are not fans should be impressed by Jonathan Demme's letter-perfect direction. He employs both handheld backstage and machine-mounted front-of-house cameras, and the contrast between the two is striking. This captures not only the "concept" of the film -- that it is as much about how a show is put on as it is about the show itself -- but also mirrors the dichotomy of the band itself, with the front cameras pinpointing their cold, formalistic quality and the backstage ones pointing up their surprising warmth and vibrancy. Most exciting is how engaging David Byrne comes across; his self-conscious quirks and pre-conceived persona register as natural and appealing, and the amount of energy he puts into the concert is galvanizing. Although he dominates the stage, honey-haired Tina Weymouth still manages to quietly score points on her own. Sense is an excellent film that stands many repeated viewings.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/13/2009
UPC:
0660200316723
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
NR
Source:
Palm Pictures / Umvd
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:28:00

Special Features

Bonus exclusive: Never-before-seen one hour press confernece Q&A with the full band, filmed at the theatrical release in April 1999; Bonus tracks: "Cities," "Big Business" / "I Zimbra"; Bonus audio commentary by all four abdn members and director Jonathan Demme; Storyboard-to-film comparison, video short "David Byrne interviews... David Byrne" and more

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bernie Worrell Synthesizers
Alex Weir guitar
Steve Scales percussion
Tina Weymouth bass
David Byrne Lead Vocals/Guitar
Talking Heads Actor
Chris Frantz Drums and Vocals
Jerry Harrison Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals

Technical Credits
Jonathan Demme Director
Jeffrey Beecroft Production Designer
David Byrne Score Composer
Jordan S. Cronenweth Cinematographer
Lisa Day Editor
Chris Frantz Score Composer
Gary Goetzman Producer
Jerry Harrison Score Composer
Gary Kurfirst Executive Producer
Steve Maslow Sound/Sound Designer
Tina Weymouth Score Composer

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